Vehicle manoeuvrability has become a pertinent topic when specifying trailer combinations, with braking functions like Wabco’s Optiturn a go-to answer from Gough Transport Solutions.
Australia’s high productivity freight vehicle scheme, Performance -ased Standards (PBS), has garnered mixed reactions since its launch nearly a decade ago. Regardless of whether it is held in high regard for its efficiency gains or snubbed for its complexity, the Scheme has no doubt changed the heavy vehicle landscape in the country.
Though still complicated, the PBS approvals process has improved dramatically in recent years, especially in terms of the often-groused road access dilemma. Aside from the permissible weights on the roads precluding vehicle acceptance, narrow roads and features such as roundabouts also factor into road access certification. As lengthening a trailer combination can have a detrimental affect on its swept path, attention is thus increasingly focused on ways to improve manoeuvrability. One manoeuvrability improvement solution offered by heavy vehicle equipment supplier, Gough Transport Solutions (GTS), is realised through a special feature on the WABCO Trailer Electronic Braking System (TEBS).
The WABCO OptiTurn function automatically detects corners and curves and releases the rear axle bellows’ pressure, reducing tyre drag and improving steering capability during manoeuvring. “WABCO’s intelligent OptiTurn function changes the turning radius of the trailer by up to 0.5m, improving the driver’s ability to steer the trailer through short curves and to manoeuvre at loading bays and in city centres,” GTS explains. “The improved turning radius allows the vehicle to manoeuvre more safely around smaller roundabouts and on crowded city streets, as well as during reversing.” The automatic function lifts the axle to shorten the wheelbase, all the while factoring the pre-programmed permissible axle weights into its adjustments to ensure it remains street legal.
“Next to protecting the trailer from bumping into curbs or roundabouts, using the WABCO OptiTurn also helps maintain the integrity of the road surface by significantly reducing drag,” GTS says. GTS adds that it can retrofit the OptiTurn function to any trailer that has the WABCO TEBS Premium Version 1 as a minimum, with its nationwide collection of service centres at its customers’ beck and call. “As a distributor for the WABCO product in Australia, GTS has service agents across the country who can help fleets choose from its variety of optional functions, like 5the OptiTurn, to make sure their equipment has everything it needs to function at its optimum,” GTS says.
The optional features available for the WABCO Trailer Electronic Braking System includes return to ride, OptiTurn, TiltAlert, Axle Load Indicator, TailGuard and Emergency Brake Alert.